52 New Books in 2016 | 19
a good life | traditions.

52 New Books in 2016 | 20


The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

"Kimball chucked life as a Manhattan journalist to start a cooperative farm in upstate New York with a self-taught New Palte farmer, Mark, who she had interviewed for a story and later married. Resolving to 'live outside of the river of consumption', Kimball writes how she and Mark worked the land 'by dint of hard work and smart planning - using draft horses rather than tractors' and built a cooperative on the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model providing a fully-rounded diet.

This book travels through a year of blood, sweat, and tears in the beginnings of what would become (many years later) Essexx Farm, a thriving cooperative feeding a community with all things good and healthy. Kimball's no nonsense, seemingly unemotional, refreshingly unsentimental, yet, compelling, captivating, and brutally honest writing of a year of building a sustainable, life-giving, thriving farm is a documentary of sorts, on the good, the bad, and the ugly side of farm life where sometimes the bad is actually good - in the long term. The subtitle speaks of 'love' but I'd say more sacrifice and compromise and resignation - so I guess, maybe yes, and love. A love built on the backs of hard work; of working together instead of competing; of working together and releasing control of self.

I loved this book because the idea of a sustainable life giving farm is just so good and this book told it like it is. This life is simple living, solid priorities and just plain hard work. This book is filled with life.